18 December 2011

Where is the Big Map?

by Yvonne Burrows

Where is the big map, the overarching story to trust and give us understanding of what is true, beautiful and good? There is no such story, screams the philosophical, cultural and educational orthodoxy of our day. Yet the boy from West Auckland kicked in the ribs by his father, dragged into the lounge and told to ""piss off"" longs to know a story of love and goodness.

In our postmodern world, such things as hope and love and faith are to be understood within the private world of one’s experience and knowledge. But how does the young Henderson girl, wearing dirty clothes, heavily infested with head lice, having had neither breakfast nor lunch, know of such things? Her world and story carry no hint of shalom.

As teachers we have no choice but to imagine, articulate and carry forward a worldview that reveals the nature and character of God and that gives others opportunity to inherit its life force. How do we do that? By loving the world enough to assume responsibility for it and seek its renewal. And for the teacher, it begins by embracing in the deepest core of our being, that every child is precious, the one and only who will ever walk this earth, deserving of the best – respect, awe, reverence, and commitment.

May each of us, as unique bearers and reflectors of the glory of God, be reminded this Christmas of what it means to incarnate the gospel in a world that cries out for hope and love and for an overarching story of what is true, beautiful and good.

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